May 25, 2018 / 3:46 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips, but safe-haven demand keeps prices above $1,300

    * Spot gold up 0.8 percent for the week
    * Silver, platinum, palladium head for weekly gains

 (Updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    BENGALURU, May 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Friday on
profit-taking, after breaking above $1,300 in the previous
session when U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to call off
a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un triggered
safe-haven buying.
    Spot gold        was down 0.2 percent at $1,301.65 per ounce
at 0604 GMT, after climbing nearly 1 percent in the previous
session in its biggest one-day percentage rise since April 11.
It remains on track for a weekly gain.
    U.S. gold futures         for June delivery fell 0.2 percent
to $1,301.40 per ounce.
    "It is normal for some profit-taking to ensue after a surge
(in prices). Still, gold appears to be anchored in the
$1,300-range, especially with the recent uptick in geopolitical
tensions," said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan.
    "The sustained uncertainty over (U.S.-North Korea)
negotiations will likely add further upside to gold prices given
safe-haven demand," Gan said.
    Gold is often seen as a safe investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty, alongside the Japanese yen.
    The dollar regained its footing on Friday after dropping to
a 2-week low versus the yen in the previous session, as North
Korea said it was open to resolving issues with the United
States after Trump on Thursday called off a summit with the
North, citing Pyongyang's "open hostility".             
            
    A stronger dollar makers dollar-denominated gold more
expensive for holders of other currencies.
    The North's conciliatory remarks and commitment to
U.S.-North Korea talks had eased some concern about the crisis
and pressured gold, said Helen Lau, analyst at Argonaut
Securities.
    Meanwhile, Trump's threat to impose tariffs on auto imports
drew strong criticism abroad and at home where U.S. business
groups and members of his own Republican Party warned of damage
to the industry and raised the prospect of a global trade war
that would harm American interests.                          
    Elsewhere, euro zone growth could slow further and
uncertainty is on the rise but the bloc's expansion remains
solid and broad-based, European Central Bank policymakers
concluded in April, the minutes of the meeting showed on
Thursday.             
    Among other precious metals, silver        fell 0.4 percent
to $16.56 an ounce, while platinum        edged down 0.3 percent
to $906 an ounce after touching its highest since May 14 at
$914.30 in the previous session. 
    Palladium        was 0.1 percent higher at $975 an ounce.
    All three of those metals were on course for weekly gains.

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair and Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford and Amrutha Gayathri)
  
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